Weighing Out How to Keep Kids Active

Who can raise their hand and say their child has a busier social calendar than you?

Probably many parents here in Hoboken can attest to their children’s busy schedules.

The activities in town for children start at the bright, young age of 1 and sometimes even younger. We are blessed to have a community with options that continues to grow.

But with all those activities, there is still one daunting reality.

Childhood obesity.

September marks National Childhood Obesity Awareness month and if you asked us, it should be recognized year round.

According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2013–2014, we now know that 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese, and about 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 were considered to have obesity.

We all know our children are our future and getting them to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle at a young age, is important.

One great way to combat childhood obesity is through activity. It is recommended that children receive at least 60-minutes a day of activity, and that can range from playing at one of the many playgrounds in town, to participating in a sport.

But how do you get started selecting an activity?

Embrace Your Child’s Personality.

Understanding your child will help you figure out the best activity for them.

Is your child very social? Try a team sport where they can socialize, make friends and learn additional skills on how to work together, while being active.

Do you have a child that loves being outdoors? Look for activities that are hosted outside, or even “fun runs” that are associated with an adult road race. An activity the whole family can participate in. Coming up next month is the HoBOOken 5K, that includes the kid’s Scary Scurry, on Saturday, October 28th.

A child that loves to bounce around? How can we not mention gymnastics! We are a little impartial with our kid’s gymnastics program. This sport is great for boys and girls. It teaches them body control and awareness, as well as discipline and dedication.

We asked some of our staff and instructors who are also moms on how their parents embraced their personalities too!

Instructor, Julia Fouts, who also contributes to Little Hoboken, had a family dynamic that included sports, so it was second nature for her to get involved. She also admits to being a high-energy kid, so her parents were quick to channel that into sports. Julia went on to play lacrosse in college, and now is a Director in our Work it Out Training Program, working with instructors-to-be.

While instructor, Monica Goldsack, was a tomboy by heart, she was always outside staying active at a young age. This in turn made her a great instructor with us, especially when it comes to boot-camp style classes like our Sweata Weatha class. Monica knows how to keep you moving the whole time, using all of your muscle groups.

Build Active, Healthy Habits at Home. We are firm believers in that parents play a great role in modeling behavior. If your child sees you active, they will see it as a natural part of life.

Another instructor and mom with us, Sherri Satz, says her 6 year old is a perfect example of learning from her parents. Sherri and her husband have always been active and now her daughter exhibits those same behaviors – asking to run around the block with them or ride her bike – just like her mom and dad. Now they are working on making sure she knows it’s not always about being first or winning, but rather enjoying what you are doing and being committed to it.

Start with simple, family activities.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as easy as going to the park with your child, or taking them on an “adventure” and hiking one of the near by parks. We love the Fort Lee Historic Park on River Road in Edgewater, NJ. It is a short 20-minute car ride, where you can hike trails, ride bikes, or simply play around in the park.

Treat yourself to a class in town.

Your child will model the behavior you exude at home. If they see you going to a fitness class, and building that into your routine, as they grow up, they too will understand the importance of this. For example, Lisa has a vivid memory of her mom, every Tuesday and Thursday, going to Jazzercise – spandex outfits and all! Where Noël’s mom loved, and still loves, to run. Taking time to better herself, who juggled three daughters and a full-time job as a nurse, was important to demonstrate balance to her children.

Our studios on Willow and River Street offer a variety of classes ranging from ride, toning, barre, dance, blended ride and more. During the 9:00am and 9:30am classes, we also have childcare, which we call Kids GAP, for Gymnastics and Play. We like to encourage movement during our child care sessions, so not only mom gets a workout, but so does their child.

Create healthy moments through food.

Designating family dinners a few times a week, depending on everyone’s schedules helps to build a positive relationship with food, cooking, and family. It doesn’t have to be a fancy meal; it could be takeout! The most important part is to encourage balanced meals together as a family. If you want to learn more about nutrition for yourself and your family, reach out to Lisa through our Work it Out Nutrition program.

Be sure to follow us at @WiOwithus, @WiOgymnastics, and @WiOnutrition.

Work it Out is also a Little Hoboken Hook-Up vendor with deals for both WiO Gymnastics and WiO Fitness Studios!



Noël Fiorentinos is the Founder of Work it Out Fitness Studios. An athlete from the ripe age of two, her parents leveraged her energetic personality into gymnastics. She was chosen for the competitive team at five years old and formally trained for over 16 years at a Junior Olympic level.

Noël has taken part in professional and competitive cheerleading, including years as part of Hoboken’s own Cheer Dynamics All-Star team and on the national level as a member of the New Jersey Nets Team Hype. Work it Out blossomed from Noël’s passion for fitness and gymnastics coupled with her love for her community and small business. As the founder of Work it Out and the gymnastics program director, Noel’s main goal is for every child and adult involved in the community to embrace a positive relationship with a healthy and active lifestyle.

Lisa Bruno, Co-Founder & Nutritionist at Work it Out Fitness Studios, was an athlete all the way through college. As a competitive cheerleader at Rutgers University, she honed in on her passion for a healthy lifestyle and proper fitness training.

Lisa was working as a public relations executive, managing accounts like Under Armour, vitaminwater, Subway, and exposed to the nutrition and fitness industry in a much deeper way than just enjoying it as a hobby. After one huge career change including a partnership with Noël in 2012, seven extra years of school, 1200+ hours of clinical nutrition work, Lisa finally merged her passion for food, with an expertise.

She holds a B.A. in Communications and a B.S. and M.S. in Foods & Nutrition.

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